• Impact of Amerind ancestry and FADS genetic variation on omega-3 deficiency and cardiometabolic traits in Hispanic populations

      Yang, Chaojie; Hallmark, Brian; Chai, Jin Choul; O'Connor, Timothy D; Reynolds, Lindsay M; Wood, Alexis C; Seeds, Michael; Chen, Yii-Der Ida; Steffen, Lyn M; Tsai, Michael Y; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-07-28)
      Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) have critical signaling roles that regulate dyslipidemia and inflammation. Genetic variation in the FADS gene cluster accounts for a large portion of interindividual differences in circulating and tissue levels of LC-PUFAs, with the genotypes most strongly predictive of low LC-PUFA levels at strikingly higher frequencies in Amerind ancestry populations. In this study, we examined relationships between genetic ancestry and FADS variation in 1102 Hispanic American participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. We demonstrate strong negative associations between Amerind genetic ancestry and LC-PUFA levels. The FADS rs174537 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) accounted for much of the AI ancestry effect on LC-PUFAs, especially for low levels of n-3 LC-PUFAs. Rs174537 was also strongly associated with several metabolic, inflammatory and anthropomorphic traits including circulating triglycerides (TGs) and E-selectin in MESA Hispanics. Our study demonstrates that Amerind ancestry provides a useful and readily available tool to identify individuals most likely to have FADS-related n-3 LC-PUFA deficiencies and associated cardiovascular risk.
    • Rare coding variants in 35 genes associate with circulating lipid levels-A multi-ancestry analysis of 170,000 exomes.

      Hindy, George; Dornbos, Peter; Chaffin, Mark D; Liu, Dajiang J; Wang, Minxian; Selvaraj, Margaret Sunitha; Zhang, David; Park, Joseph; Aguilar-Salinas, Carlos A; Antonacci-Fulton, Lucinda; et al. (Cell Press, 2021-12-16)
      Large-scale gene sequencing studies for complex traits have the potential to identify causal genes with therapeutic implications. We performed gene-based association testing of blood lipid levels with rare (minor allele frequency [removed]170,000 individuals from multiple ancestries: 97,493 European, 30,025 South Asian, 16,507 African, 16,440 Hispanic/Latino, 10,420 East Asian, and 1,182 Samoan. We identified 35 genes associated with circulating lipid levels; some of these genes have not been previously associated with lipid levels when using rare coding variation from population-based samples. We prioritize 32 genes in array-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci based on aggregations of rare coding variants; three (EVI5, SH2B3, and PLIN1) had no prior association of rare coding variants with lipid levels. Most of our associated genes showed evidence of association among multiple ancestries. Finally, we observed an enrichment of gene-based associations for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol drug target genes and for genes closest to GWAS index single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Our results demonstrate that gene-based associations can be beneficial for drug target development and provide evidence that the gene closest to the array-based GWAS index SNP is often the functional gene for blood lipid levels.